William Lane Craig is one of the sharpest Christian apologists today, especially on questions about God’s existence, Jesus’ Resurrection, and objective morality. The Evangelical philosopher travels around the country giving workshops and lectures. He’s best known for his public debates with well-known atheists and skeptics. (You can watch many of them online through his excellent Reasonable Faith website.)
During these debates, Craig has a very short time to make a clear and compelling case for God. One of his favorite arguments, on which he wrote his doctoral dissertation, is the kalam cosmological argument. Christians have many arguments for God, but the kalam has become increasingly popular because it is straightforward, easy-to-remember, and modern physics affirms one of its crucial premises (note: the argument doesn’t depend on science, but the latest science strongly affirms it.)
The kalam argument is fairly simple:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause for its coming into being.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause for its coming into being, outside of itself.
From there we can deduce that since the cause must exist beyond space and time—since it caused those things—it must be spaceless and timeless. It also must be transcendent (existing outside the universe) and supremely powerful (since it created the entire cosmos.) Therefore, we’re left with a spaceless, timeless, transcendent, supremely powerful cause of the universe—or what believers would call God.
Recently, Craig released a short five-minute video covering the argument. Watch it a few times, remember the in’s and out’s, and you’ll be prepared next time someone tells you, “There’s no evidence for God!”
(If you can’t see the video above, click here.)
If you’d like to go deeper with this argument and others, I’d suggest Craig’s popular book, On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason and Precision. For a more academic perspective, check out Fr. Robert Spitzer’s challenging New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy. Finally, explore the articles and discussions at StrangeNotions.com where we cover arguments like this almost every day. Dr. Edward Feser recently contributed an especially interesting post titled “So You Think You Understand the Cosmological Argument?“